As TSN 1040 and Sportsnet 650 prepare to go to battle for your sports radio listening loyalty, we’ve brought in an expert to break it all down. Tyler Green has extensive experience in media, particularly in sports radio, working with Team 1040 for 13 years. Here’s how he sees the matchups shaping up.
With a new sports radio station set to debut on September 4, let’s compare and contrast the ratings war that is about to ensue.
Who will win the battle for sports radio supremacy? Here’s the tale of the tape.
Morning show: Jake and Pratt vs Cybulski, Darling, and Lawrence
TSN 1040: Bro Jake, David Pratt (5:30 – 9:00 am)
- The twosome has a four-year head start on the competition and a strong veteran presence.
- Pratt is one of the most opinionated sports broadcasters in the game.
- Strong regular contributors to the program.
- Bro Jake is still considered a ‘music guy’ by many listeners, who also question his
softball questions and sports knowledge.
- They lost a producer Satiar Shah, who bolted to Sportsnet. Without Shah, who
will oppose Pratt’s rants?
Sportsnet 650: James Cybulski, Steve Darling, Mira Lawrence (5:30 – 9:00 am)
- Steve Darling has experience in the sports radio field, both as host and producer,
along with extensive television background, as does Mira Lawrence.
- Darling is definitely a name people know after years on Global.
- Cybulski hosted his own sports morning show on 1040 (produced by yours truly)
before going full-time on television.
- Do they have the opinions needed for sports radio?
- Cybulski has been there and done that and decided to move on, will the same
- Darling has bounced from television to politics to sports, where does he bounce to
A lot of sports fans have been vocal in their dislike of the 1040 morning show and with people listening to Vancouver Canucks broadcasts and waking up to 650 on their radio dial, if Sportsnet can hold them, they’ll win the battle.
Mid-morning show: KB Radio vs Satiar and Jang
TSN 1040: Mike Halford, Jason Brough (9:00 am – noon)
- Finally getting a full-time slot to talk hockey.
- Witty, fun, and hard working.
- Knowledgeable and well connected with the hockey world after spending numerous
years writing about the NHL for NBC Sports.
- Will their sense of humour work for every listener?
- Going from a weekly show to a daily show is going to test their game.
Sportsnet 650: Satiar Shah, Jawn Jang (9:00 am – noon), Shah solo (noon – 1 pm)
- Fresh faces and fresh voices to full-time sports hosting gigs.
- Shah brings experience and contacts from his time in the producer’s chair and it’s
something his fans have been clamouring for.
- While Shah has experience as a producer, time will tell if he has the chops as a full-
blown lead host of a program.
- Jang suffers the same issues Bro Jake has. What does he know about sports and can a
‘music guy’ talk sports?
While Halford and Brough have experience hosting shows and a wealth of experience, you can’t take away from a loud and excited fanbase for Shah.
Midday Show: Donnie and The Moj vs Solkowski and Janda
TSN 1040: Don Taylor and Bob Marjanovich (noon – 3:00 pm)
- Taylor is absolutely beloved in this city and has a strong presence on radio.
- The Moj has a wealth of contacts and tenacity to make impressions (I remember
producing a show whilst The Moj broadcast from a limo with Katarina Witt) dating
back to his years hosting the Sports Zone on CKST AM 1040 prior to the existence of
a sports radio station in Vancouver.
- Chemistry and a long head start on 650.
- Do people still care or even know about the Sports Page references anymore?
- How much will they miss Barry Macdonald?
Sportsnet 650: Perry Solkowski and Randip Janda (1:00 – 4:00 pm)
- Fresh voice in Janda, who has experience on the Hockey Night Punjabi broadcast.
- Solkowski has experience a sportscaster in the city for CTV, TSN and on TSN 1040.
- Having worked with Solkowski on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC broadcast, I know what a great conversationalist he can be in connecting with guests and co-hosts.
- Despite his work on Hockey Night Punjabi, will listeners buy Janda as an expert?
- Television hosts don’t always work on radio.
Edge: TSN 1040
Donnie and The Moj are just too strong of a presence to beat in the time slot. Solkowski and Janda will gain some momentum following Sportsnet’s version of Canucks Lunch, but Moj’s rolodex will be working overtime to beat them up.
Afternoon show: Sekeres and Price vs Walker and Rintoul
TSN 1040: Matt Sekeres, Blake Price (3:00 – 7:00 pm)
- Built a strong following over the last number of years and finally making the jump to
- Price has hosted Vancouver Canucks broadcasts over the years and will be a familiar voice in the lead-up to games – albeit on the non-rights holder station now.
- Sekeres, coming from a newspaper background, provides strong opinions and has been able to build strong bonds with guests and players – gaining an inside track on stories.
- Some listeners find their style a bit arrogant and view them as ‘know-it-alls’.
- Will lose some listeners wanting the ‘official’ pre-game show.
Sportsnet 650: Andrew Walker, Scott Rintoul (4:00 – 7:00 pm)
- Walker is a opinionated and fresh voice to the Vancouver market.
- Rintoul has been in the business a long-time (I first worked with him in the late
1990’s) and knows his stuff, including roles as a Canucks reporter and play-by-play
voice of the BC Lions.
- Will lead into the Vancouver Canucks games as the official pre-game show.
- Walker hasn’t endeared himself to many Vancouver hockey fans online with some of
his comments still lingering in the Twittersphere.
- Rintoul was on 1040’s morning show before getting bumped to evenings and
ultimately out the door in a number crunch. Is there a perception by listeners that he’s not good enough to crack the 1040 lineup?
Edge: TSN 1040
Despite not having the Canuck rights, Sekeres and Price have been around too long to not bring their best to counter the Canucks rights on Sportsnet.
Ultimately, the winner between TSN and Sportsnet will be decided by the listeners. And with two all-sports radio stations now competing for our ears, the real winner will be the audience.